One of the easiest ways to replace cling wrap is with beeswax wraps. Whether you buy in store or make your own, they are a great alternative that usually sticks better than cling wrap ever does!
Getting rid of what you’ve got
Shock horror (not), but according to Think Recycle cling wrap CANNOT be recycled through kerbside recycling and will end up in landfill. So to re-iterate, there is NO way that cling wrap can be recycled.
Soft plastics recycling
In attempts to try and thoughtfully recycle other single-use items in my transition, I stumbled across the RedCycle program. Although things like cling wrap can’t be recycled, other soft plastics can!
What is Redcycle
RedCycle is an initiative that collects soft plastics and turns it into signage, furniture, billboards and more! RedCycle has paired up with supermarkets like Woolworths and Coles, so you’ll find a soft plastics disposal bin in most local supermarkets. Click here to find your nearest RedCycle bin! Below is a general list of things that RedCycle accept and don’t accept, but the more comprehensive list is available on the RedCycle website.
The problem with RedCycle
Although this is a fantastic initiative, it gives the green light to buying soft plastics in the first place. In this zero waste journey, the aim is to avoid plastic all together (or as much as possible). I understand that going zero waste is not everyone’s cup of tea. However at least consider using the RedCycle program for your soft plastics (like cling wrap) to keep that shit away from landfill. During this transition, we have a huge amount of soft plastics to give to RedCycle, so consider designating a bag or box to store separately from your other recycling! Hopefully our first drop off at our local RedCycle bin will be our last.
The DIY beeswax alternative
Beeswax wraps are the most obvious alternative for cling wrap. I’ve seen compostable cling wrap at some zero waste friendly stores, but beeswax wraps are re-usable and usually cheaper!
I was given a beeswax wrap kit for my birthday last year, so I thought I’d have a go at making my own. The DIY kit was purchased from Teros in Hobart, made by the brand Sustomi (check their online store for lots of other goodies). It came with the beeswax and a set of instructions!
The beauty of making your own is that you can personalise to your containers and preferred fabric design. It’s also super easy! Lot’s of recipes online call for using different oils or tree resin but don’t overcomplicate it. So here’s how I did it.
Chunk of beeswax
Fabric of preferred size (preferably cotton)
Indoor washing line
Preheat oven to low heat (around 100 degrees). Cut your fabric into preferred size. Grate the beeswax into bowl. Sprinkle beeswax over fabric (around 0.5cm apart) with the right side facing up. Put into oven and monitor until the beeswax has melted, only takes around 2 minutes. Take out of oven and quickly spread melted wax to the edges and any empty spots using the paintbrush. Hang out onto washing line and allow to dry, only takes around 5 minutes!
These things honestly work so much better than cling wrap. Not only are they re-usable (easily washed), they stick so much better and keep your food fresher for longer. Seriously you can keep an open avocado for like 4 days before it browns. Incredible stuff. If you’re covering a jar or container without a lid and feel like there isn’t enough coverage, use a rubber band for the extra seal! This is such a simple way to avoid extra plastic in landfill, and you’ll never spend money on cling wrap again!
Don’t feel like making your own
Luckily the beeswax wrap is a growing industry, and Hobart alone is abundant with supply. You can buy them in plenty of eco-friendly shops like Teros, Eumarrah or Unpacked which are in the Hobart region. Otherwise you can purchase them online from plenty of retailers. Seriously just google it and you’ll find heaps!
For my recycling information, head to https://thinkrecycle.com.au/a-to-z-guide/
For RedCycles website, head to https://www.redcycle.net.au/
For what to put into RedCycle, head to https://www.redcycle.net.au/what-to-redcycle/
To find your closest RedCycle bin, head to https://www.redcycle.net.au/where-to-redcycle/
For DIY beeswax wraps or already made ones, head to https://sustomi.com.au/